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Module spotlight: Helping headteachers get the best out of their governing board

Socialist Facade Mosaic by Dimitri Popov - from

Module spotlight: Helping headteachers get the best out of their governing board

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Subscribers to Modern Governor have access to over 50 e-learning modules to support their professional development and improve the effectiveness of their boards. The relationship between the governing board and school leaders is vital and in this post we’ll take a closer look at the Helping headteachers get the best out of their governing board module, which is part of Modern Governor’s Introduction to Governance collection.

The relationship between school leaders and those in governance is critical to the strategic direction of a school and how it meets the needs of its community. This module introduces the responsibilities of school leaders and governors and how the interface between these (commonly described in governance circles as “operational versus strategic”) can work most effectively. It explores the nature of the headteacher’s report to the governing board along with the board’s responsibilities to school leaders.

Who is this module for?

Along with the other Modern Governor modules, this module is perfect for those new to governance. It will also be of help to headteachers and also senior leaders who are considering applying for headship at their own school or somewhere else. This is made easier for members of SLTs in schools or academies who subscribe to Modern Governor, as they can access the 50 e-learning modules on their smartphon, tablet or computer as part of their school’s subscription:

As with all Modern Governor learning modules, this piece of e-learning is intended to help build a shared understanding among all governors (and senior leaders involved in governance in any way, either as full members of a board or associate members). It’s designed to ensure that there’s clarity about responsibilities, roles and processes so that we can focus on being strategic without having to revisit the basics of how governance works.

This module works well as part of an induction programme – of course governors can take any of the 50 Modern Governor modules when they want or need to, but if you’re responsible for your board’s CPD and induction then signposting them to particular modules can help give structure to the process.

Structure of the module

The module is broken down into four sections:

What are governing boards for?
Understanding the roles and responsibilities of the governing board and the headteacher.

How can headteachers lend support?
Exploring the headteacher’s report and other ways headteachers can support effective governance.

Revising the knowledge of the topics covered in the module.

Revision of the key points and further resources.

SMSC module certificateIn common with all Modern Governor modules, once they’ve finished governors are able to download a personalised certificate in PDF format as evidence of completion of the module. On request representatives from a local authority, diocese, academy trust or chain, or if required the school’s development governor can easily run an online report showing detailed course enrolment and completion statistics by governors from a school, academy or (with appropriate permissions) across a trust, chain, diocese or local authority.

Screens from the module

Click or tap on the screens below to see larger versions of them.

Try for your board

If you’d like to try out 5 of the mobile-friendly Modern Governor modules completely free for 30 days, then simply sign up for a trial. Many local authority governor support services offer discounted subscriptions as part of their service level agreement – and multi-academy trusts can also benefit from special rates for trust-wide subscriptions. Get in touch to find out the subscription rate for your school, academy or MAT.

Questions for governors and trustees:

  • Is the relationship with the headteacher in our school effective, distant, dysfunctional, purely based around meetings?
  • How could this relationship improve?
  • Are there creative ways we could involve other senior leaders to give them an understanding of governance?
  • If we’re in a multi-academy trust, do other roles such as Executive Headteacher or Head of School complicate the way we in governance work together with them?

Image credit: Socialist Facade Mosaic by Dimitri Popov – used under CC0 1.0.

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